Recorded as Copenhall, Coppenhall, Copnall, Copnell and possibly others, this is an English surname. It locational either from Church Coppenhall or Monks Coppenhall in the county of Cheshire, or Coppenhall in Staffordshire. Initially recorded as Copehale in the Domesday Book of 1086 for Cheshire, the distinction of Chirchecopenhal and Munkescopenhale was made the County Court Rolls of Chester in 1188. The derivation in all cases is from the pre 7th century personal name Coppa meaning top, and halh translating variously as a corner, recess or secret place; hence, "Coppa's halh". Early examples of the surname recording taken from surviving church registers include that on March 3rd 1698 of Sarah Copenhall, christened at Wolstanton, Staffordshire, whilst on June 17th 1725, Richard Copnall was christened at St. Dunstan's in the East, Stepney, city of London, and the marriage of Mary Coppenhall and John Wicherley took place at Middlewich, Cheshire on March 2nd 1829. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Johannes Copnal. This was dated July 1st 1558, at Ashley, Staffordshire, in the first year of the reign of Queen Elizabeth lst, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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